Still she looked into alternatives.
“Can I sail on a yacht with an 18-month-old? How long will that take? For a few days I thought, ‘Yeah, a cruise ship!’”
While Stone was looking into the logistics of cruising, the summer happened.
The 34-year-old Orange is the New Black star has a home on the south coast of New South Wales and in early January, when she and her family were sheltering from the bushfires at her parents’ home, she decided to “throw down the gauntlet for myself” and posted a video on Instagram announcing her decision.
Stone’s immigration lawyer, who worked for years to secure her coveted US working rights, is not her biggest fan right now.
In the end the fires did not damage Stone’s home but she feels confident her decision was right, and she will discuss it on a “Green with Rage” panel at the Opera House’s All About Women festival in March.
Stone, whose international career is just taking off after the enormous success of Orange is the New Black, has never made the easy decision.
Last year, when Geoffrey Rush was suing the Daily Telegraph for a report he behaved inappropriately towards Australian actor Eryn-Jean Norvill, Stone publicly detailed her own allegations against Rush, and was later revealed to be “Witness X” in Norville’s case.
Rush denies behaving inappropriately towards both women and ultimately won substantial damages against the Telegraph.
When asked if she wanted to influence others to speak up or was simply trying to still her own conscience, Stone says that “one speaks to the other”.
She is aware of how “ridiculous and snobby” her sacrifice to not work in two countries may seem to others.
It’s not a “perfect solve” – Stone will still fly to the US for jobs she really wants to do but will donate 50 per cent of the income from such work to climate change initiatives.
“I am hoping that it’s a symbol of the kind of leadership that is missing elsewhere,” she says.
Joining Stone on the panel is Jean Hinchliffe, a 16-year-old student and lead organiser of School Strike 4 Climate.
Hinchliffe says she and her fellow student activists are not put off by politicians’ criticisms of them.
“There are few things as empowering as politicians trying to attack us because when they’re reverting to that it means they don’t have an argument,” she says. “It just shows how powerful we are.”
The All About Women festival will take place on March 8 at the Sydney Opera House.
Jacqueline Maley is a senior journalist, columnist and former Canberra press gallery sketch writer for The Sydney Morning Herald. In 2017 she won the Peter Ruehl Award for Outstanding Columnist at the Kennedy Awards